At the peak of the pandemic last March 31, a total of 538 cases were posted in a day.
Miguel de Guzman, file
COVID cases register biggest jump
Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star) - May 29, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) reported yesterday the highest number of new coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases in a span of 24 hours, with 539.

At the peak of the pandemic last March 31, a total of 538 cases were posted in a day.

The DOH attributed the surge in daily new COVID cases to the improving capacity to validate laboratory test results.

“These new cases we reported came from those that we have
validated. The number will still rise since we have able to hire additional encoders to validate data,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said.

Vergeire, however, said the so-called “doubling time” of COVID-19 cases and mortalities nationwide has slowed down.

Vergeire said the slowdown in COVID case and mortality rates served as basis for the Inter-Agency Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF)’s recommendation to place Metro Manila and other considered high risk areas under general community quarantine (GCQ).

From two to three days, Vergeire said case and mortality doubling time rose to five and then now about seven days.

The DOH explained that it continues to advocate the use of science and the best available evidence as guide in the government’s decision-making.

DOH said they have provided mayors the most accurate data possible to make appropriate decisions to address the economic impact of the COVID pandemic.

“We are confident that the minimum health standards that we have put in place and the strengthening of the health systems we have accomplished will mitigate the spread of COVID and meet demand for health care services given these relaxed restrictions.”

Vergeire, however, clarified that there is still no decision yet if Metro Manila will already be placed under GCQ.

She reiterated that when GCQ is declared and more companies are allowed to operate, the IATF is still not requiring mass testing of workers prior to returning to work.

The policy is still only symptomatic or workers manifesting possible symptoms of COVID shall be isolated and tested for the virus, she added.

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